South Ossetia heads to new polls

South Ossetia heads to new polls

A former KGB chief in Georgia’s breakaway province of South Ossetia finished on top in a presidential election, but without the majority necessary to claim victory in the first round, election officials said yesterday.

South Ossetia held new leadership polls on March 25 after a November ballot ended in protests when the court disqualified a candidate who beat the Russian-backed official. According to poll results, Leonid Tibilov will face 35-year-old presidential human rights commissioner David Sanakoyev in a runoff on April 8.

Tibilov won 42 percent of the vote to Sanakoyev’s 25 percent in the election among four candidates. South Ossetia first tried to elect a new president in November. Former education minister Alla Dzhioyeva appeared to have beaten Anatoly Bibilov, the choice of the Kremlin and the outgoing leader, in the second round, but the results were disputed and a local court ordered a new vote.

Backed by thousands of protesting supporters, Dzhioyeva claimed victory anyway and set her inauguration for Feb. 9.

The inauguration was thwarted when police raided her headquarters that day and attempted to take her out for questioning.

Compiled from AFP and AP stories by the Daily News staff